Three Somali nationals were killed late Thursday in separate incidents in Khayelitsha Township outside Cape Town, a police source said.
Western Cape Police Spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said in a statement to Anadolu Agency on Friday that the three men were killed minutes apart from each other.
“At 9.45 p.m. (1845GMT) a 27-year-old man was shot and killed outside his shop in Site C, and at 9.50 p.m. (1850GMT) a 22-year-old man was also killed in his shop in Site C,” he said.
The third victim, 28, was also killed minutes later at his shop in the same area, he added.
The police are still investigating the motive behind the murders.
Attacks on migrants are common in South Africa. In 2015, seven people were killed during anti-foreigner violence that broke out in the coastal city of Durban but later spread to other parts of the country.
Locals accuse migrants of taking their jobs, and being responsible for a rise in crime. “We are extremely upset and horrified by these murders,” Cape Town Somali Community leader, Abdi Alas Guure told Anadolu Agency on Friday via telephone.
He said over 20 Somali nationals had been murdered in 2016 in the Cape Town area.
“We don’t know if it’s due to a dislike of migrants or robbery,” he said.
Thousands of Somalis live in South Africa as refugees, with the majority of them running retail businesses.